Your computer network is the back bone of your communications. Many networks that were installed over 5 years ago are now beginning to strain under the added demands that modern computers require of them.
5 years ago the standard specification requirements for most computers were 10/100 based UTP. But not all computers were equipped with 100 based NICs. Usually only the peak performance machines were equipped with fast 100/1000 Ethernet cards and the cable that was installed was usually Cat 5.
Much of the cat 5 cable installed in homes and offices was installed over 10 years ago. Many networks were put together piecemeal by adding cables as required from the $2 shop and just laying them over the furniture or draping along the walls And under desks.
Ethernet cable is very fragile especially the $2 variety and dose not stand up to repeated movement or foot traffic when run across doorways or under carpet and can split, fray and become damaged very easily. Even small splits and cracks in the cables sheaths can cause serious issues and network errors. Few older cat 5 networks were tested and certified by an electrician to be free of errors. I still see a lot of this type of network.
2010 and these networks are still in place. However the demands of them has dramatically increased. Computers today come standard with 1000 based NICs. And many servers have 2 or more NICs installed. Most people replace the switches to match and support the new computer network requirements but few people replace the cable to make the networks compatible.
Networks today require Cat 5e or Cat 6 cables to support the speeds computers and switches can run at.
Damaged network cables can cause all manor of issues from computer and router freezes to data corruption. If your cables are damaged they need to be checked and repaired or replaced.
Meerkat Computer Services can arrange to upgrade, test and certify your network to ensure optimum performance. Call Meerkat Computer Services today to arrange a checkup.
Three ways to test your LAN's speed
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Some Networking Facts
Different kinds of UTP cabling are available. Each type runs at a different speed and has
different uses. The key types of UTP cable youll encounter are:
Cat 3 was the earliest successful implementation of UTP. Its primarily used for voice and lower-speed data applications. Its rated for a maximum of 10 Mbps.
Cat 4 never achieved the popularity of Cat 3 or Cat 5. Its primarily used for voice and lower-speed data at a maximum of 16 Mbps.
As Fast Ethernet became a standard, Cat 5 became the basis for most high-speed data implementations. Cat 5 runs at a maximum of 100 Mbps.
With the need for higher speeds, Gigabit Ethernet has become the new
replacement for Fast Ethernet. To make it work, Cat 5e extends the life of Cat 5 cable. It can run at a maximum of 1,000 Mbps.
Cat 5e can run at gigabit speeds, but with 10-Gigabit Ethernet on the horizon, Cat 5e has stretched the Cat 5 standard to its limits. Cat 6 can currently run at 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps). The Category 6 specification was released for publication very recently, however as designed, Category 6 cabling will be able to support speeds up to at least 10 Gbps.
Common Network Problems caused by faulty or incorrect network Cables
Computer crash or freezing
Switch malfunction or freeze.
Unexpected or poor network performance.
For more information about network cabling click here to read an article written by Scott Lowe MCSE titled - Know the facts about network cabling.
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